The Struggle to Teach
There is no doubt that teaching has changed since 100 years ago, as most professions have, but teachers and their struggles are just now coming to light. In fact, after the outbreak of the coronavirus, the United States has been seeing a multitude of teachers leaving the workforce to find other jobs and school districts are having a hard time finding teachers to fill open positions in their schools. There are many factors that could bring this result. There are many struggles, pressures, and regulations that teachers have to deal with throughout a normal school day. Not to mention all of the new programs and technologies they have implemented through the COVID era.
The first hurdle they have to jump through is a newer one: parents. Parents these days are less likely to reprimand their children and deflect the blame away from their children and onto the educators’ teaching style. “We have to be babysitters to kids whose parents think they are wonderful, perfect, and can never do any wrong. We have to deal with these kids who are willing to break us down emotionally with their different ploys and tricks.” says one teacher. These parents think their children can do no wrong and then when they get in trouble, it is the teachers who get blamed and scolded. It is also put on the teachers' shoulders “if a child is not doing well in class then it is our fault. If he is not responsible enough with his/her assignments then it is our fault. We take a lot of the blame on not only the academic development of our students but also on their social development also.” Another hurdle teachers face is the fact that students are getting bolder, but not in the right ways. Students now have no problem talking back and mocking authorities. “We are always made fun of by the students we teach. We should be in an esteemed position and revered, but well there is always the struggle of being nicknamed or mocked by our own students.” On top of this, teachers can not punish the students as they have to go through their parents who now have a say in the ways teachers run their classrooms. This brings them back to the first hurdle mentioned.
Teachers also have to deal with the fact that their supposed “easy” 7:30 to 3:00 jobs never seem to end. Many people outside the job of a teacher have criticized teachers for complaining about their jobs saying they are glorified babysitters, get summers off, and do not work long hours so they have no room to complain. However, that could not be farther from the truth. “People who are not teachers may feel that our job description may not mean much after all. They feel safe to assume that our job is menial and does not really require much expertise and skills. Sometimes they even go further to telling us how to do our jobs.” They do this when in reality, teaching is one of the hardest and most demanding jobs. “There is always so much work to be done, that we have to take some of it home. Literally, there is never an end to grading papers. As a teacher, you should know that there will always be a pile of papers to be graded. Sometimes we simply have to skip hanging out with our friends and family because we are so tied up with work. While there may be other jobs that are more tedious than being a teacher, we are faced with the indescribable exhaustion that hits our body, mind, and heart every day, every week, and every month.”
Teachers have so much nonsense to deal with from parents, kids, and the school districts while being one of the lowest salary jobs in the United States. The average salary of a Missouri public school teacher is between $38,240 and $50,581 a year. If that seems low, you might be surprised to hear private school teachers can make even less than that. The median private school salary of $24,539 a year. “It is difficult to be motivated by our paycheck. We could be motivated by passion and desire. But definitely, it is hard to contend with the fact that we are not only undervalued we are also underpaid for doing what makes so much difference in our society.” Not to mention, those supposed “summers off” are spent teaching summer school at a much lower salary than during the school year. Teachers are underpaid and overworked yet they are the ones that inspire children to grow up and reach their full potential.
This just shows that we as people need to value the hard-working men and women who come into your schools every day to help shape you into the person you are and make sure you are able to function in society. There is so much more we can do to help the teachers in our school districts feel loved and valuable at their place of work, especially because they do so much for us.